“The disorders and miseries which result (from partisan politics) gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”
Those were the insightful words of our first president, George Washington, but it took 220 years for the nation to allow the disorders and miseries from politics to result in the minds of men and women to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual.
Power, narcissism, evil, and authoritarianism do not go gently into the good night. This reality has never been more evident than the last four years and the three months following the election, all coming to a head on Jan. 6, 2021. It continues with Trump pushing the big lie, red states passing laws trying to restrict and make it harder for people to vote, and the clownish audits of an election that is certified and over.
Trump will never admit defeat. We are never better served by the actions of one person than we are by the collective actions of a democratic republic. Regardless of Washington’s warnings, partisanship is here to stay. But when politics turn from debate about policy to debate about allegiance to a man consumed by self-interest, it is time for a dash of cold water in the face.
The Trump voters had their reasons for their vote but his behavior following the election threatens the welfare of our Republic. It is time to usher him into the good night of politics. Only then can we return to the great debate on how best to govern this Republic.
Political parties are a natural outcome of difference and diversity. Dictatorships are the result of falling prey to our own biases, subterfuge, ignorance, and bad judgment.
James Long, Hickory